Business English: Meetings

Classroom Exercises and Activities

Unit One

Opening a Meeting: Worksheet One

1. When we meet someone in a business setting for the first time we use their: □ □ □ □ □ first name family name first name + family name title + first name + family name title + family name e.g. Arthur e.g. Buttle e.g. Arthur Buttle e.g. Mr. Arthur Buttle e.g. Mr. Buttle

2. Which of the following does the chair usually do at the beginning of a meeting ? □ read through the agenda point by point. □ ask people in the meeting if they wish to change anything on the agenda (eg. add something, change the order etc). □ introduce all the members of the meeting to each other. □ explain what the purpose of the meeting is.

3. Each sentence has a missing word. Put the missing word in the correct place in the sentence. Let’s get. Perhaps we start the meeting now. Let’s get to business. I think we are all. Let’s begin, we ? down shall can here started


First Viewing

1. Check your answer to Preview 1 by listening to how people in the video introduce themselves and other people.

2. Look at Preview 2. What does Mary Peterson do ? □ read through the agenda point by point. □ ask people in the meeting if they wish to change anything on the agenda (eg. add something, change the order etc). □ introduce all the members of the meeting to each other. □ explain what the purpose of the meeting is.

□  □ They think they should sweep the whole issue under the table and ignore it. □ They think the data should be displayed in a table to make it easier to understand. □ They think they should bring the issue to the table and introduce it for discussion.participants are from different companies How do you know? Video Second Viewing 1. Compete the following: John is going to talk about _________________________________. Internal . John Townsend respects the business practice of Victoria Springs. What kind of meeting is this? a. T / F Give reasons for your answer. Eric and Michael are friends. Which expressions from Preview 3 do you hear ? 4. Circle either True or False 3.all participants are in the same company b. Eric is going to talk about _________________________________. Give reasons for your answer. T/F . □ They think they should wait until they have more information before they discuss it.Unit One Opening a Meeting: Worksheet Two 3. 2. Michael is going to talk about _________________________________. External . 4. What does it mean when someone suggests "tabling" an issue? They think they should pass out handouts to everyone seated at the table.

I don’t think we’ve met. Please call me Gerry. Hello. I’m Jackie. □  □ To prevent new business matters from slowing down the meeting discussion. I can’t give you that information this week. This is Rajiv. □ Hi Maury.Unit One Opening a Meeting: Worksheet Three Culture Why have an agenda? To avoid any unexpected changes in the planned conduct of the meeting. This is Mr. . Charts and graphs detailing the data to be presented. from the new quality control team. □  □ The names of who will give the presentations. Bob. □  □ Hi. □ To outline the goals of the meeting. □ The suggested order in which things will be discussed. □ Background information on the company. I don’t want to discuss the specifics of the plan. □ A statement of corporate goals and philosophy. James Whitfield. Business Documents Check the items that you are likely to find on a copy of a meeting agenda. Expressions Indicate whether the following statements are formal (F) or informal (I). □ To have subordinates take some responsibility for making presentations. my name is Gerald Simms. □ The time and place of the meeting. I work in accounting. so participants know what to expect. Discuss • How often do you attend meetings? • Do you like going to meetings? • Are meetings sometimes a waste of time? • Why do we hold meetings? • What are the responsibilites of the participants? • How long should good meetings last? • What factors make meetings productive? Language Notes Change the following statements. □ I would like to introduce you to someone. because the data hasn’t come in yet. Make them more positive.

/22/3 of the main text. Imagine different scenes: ●a ●a ●a ●a meeting at a record company for young pop artists. clients. Handshakes are important in North American culture because they indicate sincerity. internal staff and so on.g. Use the forms of address as described above. meeting of high school students. What sort of order are meetings usually arranged in ? 3. meeting of national leaders. Roleplay. T/F 2. meeting at an academic publishing company. Choose a role. between friends or both ? Introduce yourself to other members of the class. Role play opening a meeting. (e. Choose between: the person chairing the meeting. Use the phrases from pgs.Unit One Opening a Meeting: Worksheet Four Review Quiz 1. "Good to meet you" is used for people meeting for the first time. a student council) .

Victoria Springs doesn’t need outside support to grow. □ Both sides have serious doubts about whether the deal will work. □ on both getting and keeping customers.Unit Two Making a Presentation: Worksheet One Previewing 1. 2. Complete these sentences: a. □ Victoria Springs is much more optimistic than Avalon about the deal. Avalon’s projected _________ will increase by ________. What are some advantages to a small business of merging with a larger company? □ more customers □ higher wages. There are no problems regarding the proposed deal. □ mainly on keeping existing customers. b. Last year Avalon _____________ the number of new clients by _____. □ Victoria Springs is going to merge with Avalon. □ Victoria Springs is going to acquire Avalon. □ Avalon thinks the deal will work. Video Second Viewing 1. Which of the following are true ? □ Both sides are generally optimistic about the deal. T / F. . c. T / F. What do you remember about the relationship between Avalon and Victoria Springs? □ Avalon is going to acquire Victoria Springs. 2. Are Victoria Springs and Avalon are in the same business? Yes / No 3. Avalon focuses: □ mainly on getting new customers. 3. bonuses and better perks □ increased sales Video First Viewing 1. Did Avalon approach Victoria Springs or did Victoria Springs approach Avalon ? 4. but Victoria Springs doesn’t.

. The only thing that is important in a presentation is the data. □ Avalon will have to pay a high rate of interest on loans to close the deal. □ Victoria Springs will not be able to continue growing. Culture notes 7. Which of these concerns has been raised about the deal? □ Victoria Springs has been losing clients too fast. □ Sales revenues have decreased 13% in the last three quarters. 6. A presentation gives everyone the information they need to make good decisions. As long as a presentation is interesting. □ Many clients are unhappy with the service Victoria Springs has provided. Language notes 8. What are some of the reasons Mary gives for recommending the deal. □ Management will ensure that a good decision is made in the hiring of a new CEO. Which of these statements best describes an effective business presentation? □ □ □ □ A presentation is an opportunity to pass the views of management down to the staff. □ The Board will appoint a task force to give recommendations for the selection of a new CEO. the actual content isn’t that important. Check ( ) which of the following statements is more precise? □ Sales have decreased some since last year.Unit Two Making a Presentation: Worksheet Two 5.

□ You should include lots of detailed information in your presentation. you should avoid eye contact with the audience. main body (M) or conclusion (C).... .. What is the purpose of a presentation outline? □ To give more detailed information than the presenter has time for. □ To inform those who were unable to attend the meeting..... we recommend that Business Documents 10. . . It is rarely used in the business world.... □ During a presentation... during the introduction (I). .. . . Visual Aids 11. It provides detailed picture of minor changes over time.. □ To provide an overview of the main points of the presentation. we have concluded that Before we get into the details The next point we need to consider is Let’s take a look at what this data tells us I’d like to give you a brief overview of the situation first Therefore.Unit Two Making a Presentation: Worksheet Three Expressions 9. It is a powerful way to visualize numbers. Check ( □ □ □ □ □ ) all of the points that you think are positive features of the bar graph.. Mark where the following expressions is likely to be found during a presentation. □ To provide the company with a documented history of the meeting. . □ You should use gestures to help the audience understand your presentation.. Body Language Check ( ) which of the following is true of North American business culture. As a result.. It requires careful analysis to be understood. Comparisons can be made easily with a bar graph. □ The pace of your presentation should be slow that everyone can follow easily.

vi. . what your company does Include the points made in the quiz above and use the expressions from the main text p 030 & 031. . . . . . the recent performance of your company / department. .Unit Two Making a Presentation: Worksheet Four Quiz Quiz 1. . . . . Complete the following: i. . . On _____________ whole . the structure of your company. . . how your company / department / section could be improved. A case in _____________ is . iv. Role Play Prepare a presentation on a topic regarding your work. Let me _____________ you an example . v. I’d like to _____________ by . Some suggested topics are: • • • • • a current project. ii. . Today we will _____________ at . Let me end by _____________ . . . . This _____________ us to the next _____________ . . . vii. . iii.

Unit Three Disagreeing: Worksheet One Previewing □ □ □ □ Video First Viewing □ □ □ □ □ □ □ .

Unit Three Disagreeing: Worksheet Two Video Second Viewing □ □ □ □ .

Nodding your head Looking away.. . Jennings is absolutely the best man for the job... It gives detailed data. Leaning forward slightly Leaning back Raising your eyebrows. Frowning. Check ( □ □ □ □ ) which of the following statements is characteristic of a good memo.. It explains the background. . Convert the following to expressions of opinion..Unit Three Disagreeing: Worksheet Three Expressions 1. It is short and clear.. It sticks to just one point.. Mark whether the following gestures indicate agreement (A) or disagreement (D)....... Mr... . □ □ □ □ It shows the reasons behind the results. It shows the trends over time. Visual Aids 1.... Business Documents 1.. . Which of these best describes the virtues of a line graph. Body Language 1. This is the best deal we are going to get. It allows comparisons of many different points... The price will not drop any farther. It gives much detailed information.... . . .

.. A (agreement)." 3.. MA (mild agreement). "Shorter working hours make workers more productive. .. "Flex-time makes workers more productive.. . "Working at home is more efficient than working in an office. iv. . I’m ______________ I don’t agree.... I agree in ______________ but . Complete the following expressions. As far as I can tell That can’t be right That’s true I agree up to a point I couldn’t agree more 2. Label the following expressions MD (mild disagreement)..Unit Three Disagreeing: Worksheet Four Quiz Quiz 1. . That ______________ be right. iii. D (disagreement). We’re in basic ______________ .... ." 2." ..... .. . or O (giving an opinion)... Role Play The class should divide into two groups and think of pros and cons for the following arguments: 1. i.. ii. .. SA (strong agreement).

Unit Four Interrupting: Worksheet One Previewing 1. • You lost me there. □ whether the company needs a new container design or not.) d. the marketing team is going to do a new survey. b) do.. . Before developing a new product or design what should a company do? Add to the following list: a) do a customer survey. a development team is going to take over the project. Keeping on topic Adding a point 2...) e. • Sorry to interrupt. What is the outcome of the meeting ? □ □ □ □ the project is postponed. c. • Sorry. Put the following into the appropriate section below. □ what sort of design the container should be.. • If I could continue please. the research team is going to produce a new design... 1. I don’t quite follow you. • Can I answer that at the end. Clarifying a point • Before we go any further.) Video First Viewing □ how much money to spend on a new container design. □ the strategy for a new container design. but. The main topic of the meeting is: 2.

Jenkins left the only copy of the speech in a taxicab. Convert the following statements to passive structure. . What phrase did you hear someone use in the dialogue to keep on topic? Culture notes 1. There is very little money for R&D. Tapescript Activity: Look at the tapescript and answer the following: (i) What phrase did you hear someone use in the dialogue to clarify a point? (ii). Victoria Springs did a customer survey three weeks ago. The main problem with the containers is the weight. Eric and Michael are going to put together a development team. meant to generate new ideas. Victoria Springs offers several container models. The caterer spilled coffee on the slides for the presentation. What phrase did you hear someone use in the dialogue to add a point? (iii). Ms. Which of the following best describes brainstorming? (A) A method of eliminating ideas that are not feasible or practical. The sales department isn’t meeting its quotas for the quarter. Which of the following statements are true ? Currently. (D) A rapid and free exchange of suggestions. Language notes 1. (B) A way of discussing the ideas for further consideration. (C) A group exchange intended to carefully evaluate ideas. Paul Rodgers didn’t submit his report in time to be reviewed.Unit Four Video Interrupting: Worksheet Two Second Viewing 1. T/F T/F T/F T/F T/F 2.

.. □ Raising your index finger. . □ To present the applicants relevant work skills and experience. interrupt to add a point (A) or to keep on topic (T) . That reminds me of another important point. What information should you include on a resume. I’m not following you. □ To list every job the applicant has ever done in the field.Unit Four Interrupting: Worksheet Three Expressions 1....... □ To account for all of the skills the applicant has acquired. I’d like to comment on that.. .... . Check ( ) which of the following is acceptable in North American business culture? □ Raising a hand with the palm facing another person. Mark whether the following expressions would be used to interrupt to clarify a point (C)....... ... If I could just finish. Business Documents: Resumes 1. □ Remaining silent during a discussion. Sorry. ... Body Language 12..... As I was saying. 2... ... Include all relevant information.. □ name and address □ political beliefs □ educational background □ work history □ qualifications □ religious beliefs □ medical history □ personal interests 3. What is the primary purpose of a resume? □ To provide potential employers with a list of references.. □ Interrupting during a brainstorming session... I didn’t catch that last part. Write your own resume.......

3. 2. 7. They signed the contract yesterday. If I could make a ____________ here. 6. 5. a lot of staff are only busy for part of the year. .Unit Four Interrupting: Worksheet Four Quiz Quiz 1. 8. Sorry I didn’t quite ____________ that last point. productivity is low relative to the size of the work force. 1. The Accounts department didn’t pay this invoice. Complete the following sentences. Change these sentences. .many departments are overstaffed. Someone broke the fax machine. 2. . salaries are high. 3. Sorry. Brainstorm the following problem: Your company’s personnel costs are too high . . ____________ you say that again please? I beg your ____________ . 1. ____________ I continue please? Would you ____________ if I continued? 2. 4. Make them into passive sentences. Do you ____________ if I say something here? Before we go any ____________ can I point out .

. . I personally guarantee . Generally. What reasons can you think of to help persuade them? 2. . I don’t understand your worries We share your concerns Video First Viewing 1. the meeting: was a success / was a failure / produced no definite outcome. What types of customer service do Victoria Springs offer ? 2. What guarantee does John Townsend make regarding customer service ? . 2. I’m afraid you’re right. Which of the following expressions can be used to persuade someone not to worry: □ □ □ □ □ Rest assured that we fully understand your concerns . What are the two main issues which concern Victoria Springs ? Video Second Viewing 1. You want to convince your company to adopt a ’flex-time’ system.Unit Five Persuading: Worksheet One Previewing 1. .

if necessary. What will happen to Victoria Springs staff ? □ Most of them will be made redundant. Our sales reps can custom design the right system for anybody. it is rude to continue trying to persuade. Convert the following from "I" statements to "You" statements. without troublesome specifics. Opinions are more important than facts for most North Americans. Supporting evidence makes an argument more persuasive. It is important to put an offer in terms that are personally relevant.Unit Five Persuading: Worksheet Two 3. □ Relocating is likely for a lot of the staff. 4. I’m happy to answer any questions that might come up. John Townsend is successful in reassuring them on: □ □ □ □ the first issue. We offer excellent support to our customers after the sale. Language notes 1. both issues. I’m happy to say that I offer the best prices in town. neither issue. Culture notes 1. is sufficient in most deals. A general offer. □ They will be offered training and support in finding a new job. If an offer is refused. . the second issue. Check ( □ □ □ □ □ ) which of the following are true of North American persuasion strategies.

. .. . . .. To negotiate further improvements in the terms of a deal. .... Business Documents 1. ... It allows comparisons to be made between different times. The plan looks good. What is the purpose of a follow-up letter? □ □ □ □ To suggest additional ideas for discussion at a later date. Mark whether the following expressions express reassurance (R) or doubt (D).. . ____________________________________________________________________ Raising your eyebrows suggests.... .... .. I guarantee we will be able to.... .. . .. .. but... To make a clear record of what was decided so there are no later misunderstandings.Unit Five Persuading: Worksheet Three Expressions 1. . □ □ □ □ It shows clearly how data relates to the big picture. ____________________________________________________________________ . Body Language 1.. Have you fully considered whether. ... ____________________________________________________________________ Gesturing with an open hand.. It decribes changes in trends over the whole time. . You have my word that. ____________________________________________________________________ Maintaining eye contact for a long period of time. Visual Aids 11. . .... .... . To remind everyone that they must live up to their end of the deal. For North Americans it is important to maintain eye contact because.. Finish the following statements regarding body language.. It gives the detailed numerical data in relation to the subject......... .. .. ....... I have some concerns about... . I’m sure we can meet your concerns about. Which of these best describes an attribute of the pie chart. ....

. . Maintaining eye contact for a long period of time . Role Play Work in teams. Finish the following points regarding body language: 2. . two groups of two. . For North Americans it is important to maintain eye contact because . 4. . 4. We will ____________ all your concerns. . 2. . We’ve covered all the ____________ . 1. Try and persuade the other group to: □ Switch from a Windows computer system to an Apple computer system □ Begin a series of compulsory English lessons for all staff employees □ Relax the dress code in the office . 5. Gesturing with an open hand . 3. . It’s in our best ____________ as well as yours. .Unit Five Persuading: Worksheet Four Quiz Quiz 1. . . . We can definitely ____________ all your requirements. . 3. 2. Raising your eyebrows suggests . Complete the following: 1. . . . Rest ____________ that we understand .

I think we can accept that. Fill in the details of the deal. who do you think gets the best deal. of coolers Cost per unit Length of contract Trial period 2. Let me see what we can work out. Generally. Video First Viewing Which of the following items were mentioned? □ length of the contract □ price □ penalty clause □ delivery dates □ length of trial period □ number of units □ repairs of damaged goods 2. It’s still too high. What are the main items to be negotiated ? Video Second Viewing Original offer Final offer 1. No. We’re in a position to make you a good deal. We’re prepared to make you an offer of $35.000. It’s a deal then. We can’t improve on the price.Unit Six Negotiating: Worksheet One Previewing 1. let’s talk terms I’m listening. This is our last and best offer. Well. Lorraine or Eric? Why? . Match the phrases on the left with the responses on the right. I’m afraid that’s out of the question. Let me think about it.

.00 a unit. . I’m sorry.. We can’t agree to the deal.... Mark whether the following statements sound like: Getting started (S). Making an offer (M) or Responding to an offer (R)... . During negotiations.. North American negotiators rely on lawyers to . ... Shall we take a look the proposal? That sounds like a reasonable deal. I think we’ve got a deal... North American negotiators rely more on impersonal analysis of facts and figures than .. I’m afraid.. If you’ll agree to extend the contract. .. . we can’t extend the agreement. We won’t be able to cut our price unless you make a substantial order. Expressions 1. Without a firm deal on future price increases. .. .... .. .... Finish the following statements.Unit Six Negotiating: Worksheet Two Culture notes 1. . . Change the following statements to a focus on positive conditions. .. We can offer you the entire package for $20. Language notes 1.. . North Americans address problems. . in order to ... . Unless the completion deadline is moved back... The best deal we can offer. .. but your price is still too high.

000 units come to a total of $3. Yes. The cups are included in the deal. I’m afraid I can’t accept ______ without a trial period. □ Dramatic gestures and mood swings. □ To present the terms and conditions that have been agreed to. 100. This is a nice place. etc. Body Language 12. Fill in the gap with a reference word . □ To show that an agreement may be possible under some conditions. The column chart is useful for . Complete the following statement about 3-D column charts. ’that’. ’they’. $32. □ To announce an agreement to discuss terms and conditions.500. _______ is too much. We can offer you $35 per unit. Check ( ) which of the following indicate confidence and self-control to a North American businessman in serious negotiation.Unit Six Negotiating: Worksheet Three Business Documents 1. . . Make ______ $30 and we’ve got a deal. ____ is. □ Very formal dress □ Smiling and laughing □ Calm and relaxed posture □ Loosening ties and rolling up shirt sleeves □ Long quiet pauses □ Direct eye contact. Quiz Quiz 1. Visual Aids 1.50 is our lowest offer. What is the purpose of a letter of agreement? □ To present negotiation points for later discussion. .000.’it’. . But _______ only make up 5% of the total.

What’s the bottom ____________ ? Role Play Company A . lease periods. Shall we get ____________ to business? 2. other customer benefits. the cost per month. how much per piece of paper. Our original offer still ____________ . . □ do not refer to concrete facts and figures during the negotiation .Unit Six Negotiating: Worksheet Four Quiz Quiz . how much you want to spend per month. what kind of back-up service you want. 3. . Decide what type you want (colour or black & white. 68 of the main text and the ideas you discussed in pre-viewing 2 above. Complete the following: 1. 3.you lease photocopiers. if you offer a trial period. Which of these are true? In a negotiation. high or ordinary quality etc. . Negotiate a deal using the expressions from p. 5. Make a list of the models you have (colour or black & white. high or ordinary quality etc. how much per piece of paper. what kind of back-up service you offer. 4. Let’s get ____________ . □ do not openly disagree but try to think of a neutral response.you want to lease 1 or 2 new photocopiers for your very busy office. Company B . 6. if you want a trial period.). how long you want to lease it for.cont’d 2. We are ____________ to make an offer of . North American business people: □ like to talk about personal matters first and gradually start talking about business. We’re in a ____________ to make you a very good deal. □ end a deal by signing a contract. □ usually take their time before coming to an agreement. .they usually leave them till later.).

Unit Seven Closing a Meeting: Worksheet One Previewing 1.. Tony is to update our inventory system. Underline three phrases which show the meeting is coming to an end.. .. .. What clues did you see in the video that the meeting was coming to an end ? 2... Video First Viewing 1...... To recap the main points then . ... . Also..... It that’s it then ... Finally.. What did Mary do to close the meeting ? .. . . .... 2. ... ... . Put the following expressions in order. ... a reminder to all to get in any ideas for this year’s Christmas party. ... We’ve decided to look into new warehousing factilities ..... you’re in charge of this . ..... This is set for the tenth .... And Jon. . Look at the scrambled dialog again.... He’ll submit a plan at next month’s meeting... .

2. It’s very important that we cut our distribution costs and our labor costs are much too high. Put the following statements in a grammatically parallel structure First. Language Notes 1. iii.Unit Seven Video Closing a Meeting: Worksheet Two Second Viewing T/F T/F 1. What will the Victoria Spring management team be looking at ? Culture notes 1. In the next Victoria Springs meeting next month. Are the following true or false ? The container design will be ready on time. we have decided to renew our contract with our distributor and the proposal to accept other bids for the contract was voted down. . Just to review. What will Avalon and Victoria Springs discuss ? ii. The merger is still under discussion. . we will hear their proposal and then the proposal will be discussed. i. ii. What three decisions does Mary review in her summary of the meeting? 3. What are the three main responsibilities of the chairperson in a North American business meeting? i.

. □ Radar charts aren’t a good way of comparing figures and information.. I’d like to discuss. □ This type of chart is configured differently in North America.. The final point we need to cover today is.... .. ...Unit Seven Closing a Meeting: Worksheet Three Expressions 1....... .. I’d like to meet again next week.. 4.. ...... Body Language 1.. or that someone wishes a meeting to come to a close. Visual Aids 1. Mark whether the following statements would signal the conclusion of a topic (T) or of the meeting (M). OK. moving right along... . 5. . 3..... 2.. Business Documents 1. □ They may not be familiar with this type of chart. Now that the issue is decided...... I think that’s everything we need to cover today.. Check ( ) which of the following indicate that a meeting is coming to a close. What are the five main types of information that are recorded in the minutes of a meeting? 1.. Why is the radar chart likely to confuse some North American businessmen? □ Radar charts don’t display data very well. let’s wrap this up... □ sitting back in your chair □ closing a folder □ rubbing your chin □ loosening your tie □ putting down a pen or a pencil □ knocking your hand on the table three times . We need to hear Jennifer’s presentation now before we decide..

First of all brainstorm the topic ie. I think we’ve ____________ everything. Moving ____________ to number three on the agenda . I’m afraid we’ve run ____________ of time. . I’d like to ____________ the meeting to a close. □ always introduce guests to rest of the people in the meeting. A chairperson can be chosen: 2. 6. 2. Complete the following: 1. what kind of food and drink. . . Role Play The main item on your agenda is the end of year party. Let’s call it a ____________. 3. . □ let the direction of the meeting go whichever way the discussion is going.Unit Seven Closing a Meeting: Worksheet Four Quiz Quiz □ □ □ □ in rotation by alphabetical order depending on the main topic of the meeting according to rank 1. 4. the location. 3. A chairperson should: □ let people speak whenever they have a point to make. shall we? 5. It’s been good ____________ business with you. Choose a chairperson. etc. The chairperson should control the meeting and close the meeting as described above.

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